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INTERVIEW: SLT Founder Amanda Freeman On SLT Outdoors In The Hamptons And More

Lindsay Aitken

SLT has a summer residency at East Hampton Indoor Tennis. (Courtesy Photo)

The ab-burning, body-toning workout Hamptonites and New Yorkers have fallen in love with, SLT, has officially launched outdoor classes at East Hampton Indoor Tennis (EHIT). SLT has become popular among A-List celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Hailey Bieber, and Chrissy Teigen, due to its results-focused, full-body, muscle-toning class model. The SLT workout combines cardio, strength training, and Pilates, giving clients incredible results from head to toe.

SLT Outdoors is teaching its signature classes using a Microformer at EHIT under an awning, shading clients from the bright sun on hot days. This 45-minute class is the perfect combination of challenging and fun, giving you the burn you have been craving and results you have been working your way towards.

We caught up with SLT Founder/CEO Amanda Freeman to learn more about the workout, SLT Outdoors, and how she spends her time outside of the studio.

How did you come up with the idea for SLT?

AF: SLT was born in 2011 out of my personal desire for a workout that was challenging, fun, low impact, high intensity and results-focused. I loved the idea of the boutique fitness studios that were emerging prior, but I didn't like the workouts themselves or the results clients were seeing. I wanted the Pilates body, but in a more dynamic, music-driven, challenging and class environment. At the time, there was nothing like it in New York or nearby.

What is the SLT workout? What makes this exercise class unique?

AF: The workout is best described as a high intensity evolution of Pilates. It's a combination of cardio, strength training and Pilates in a full-body, but core-focused workout. It's performed on a Megaformer, a unique piece of fitness equipment that enables hundreds of move variations with little transition time in between. We move slowly through each exercise, thus activating slow twitch muscle fibers that lead to a toned muscle appearance rather than bulk. Our instructors are highly skilled, detail oriented and extremely form conscious. Our goal is to ensure each client has a personalized, safe, effective and challenging workout.

How are SLT classes structured?

AF: Our classes are centered around body-part focused blocks. We typically start with a killer ab block to warm up (and burn out) the core. Then it's up to the instructor to choose an oblique block, leg block or arm block and program from there. The right side is worked on its own and the left side will follow, or vice versa. Class is always finished up with a final core block that is amped up with cardio bursts. The last 2 minutes are reserved for stretching. You will always get a total body workout complete with muscle failure and shakes throughout and likely soreness (in a good way) about 36 hours later.

Why did you bring your company to the Hamptons initially? Why did you bring classes outdoors in East Hampton?

AF: I learned early on that if we were going to be a popular NYC workout, we'd have to open up a Hamptons outpost. We had attracted a crowd, with our Midtown and Soho studios, who were fortunate enough to also be able to spend time in the Hamptons and they wanted their workouts to go with them when they were out here. The first summer we didn't have a studio and we got so many requests for it and lost some loyal clients to other studios that did have Hamptons locations. Once we could afford to do it, we signed our first Hamptons lease in Water Mill and things took off from there.

When Covid hit and it was clear that our studios would have trouble opening out here this summer, I immediately brainstormed how and where we could transition to an outdoor format. It's logistically challenging to move our machines, particularly outdoors. I've known the guys at EHIT for years and when I heard they were open to partnering with fitness studios to offer them outdoor space to teach in, I reached out. We're so lucky that they gave us an amazing space that is outside, but under an awning. The shade is key when it comes to working out hard in the humidity.

When not in the studio, how do you typically spend your time?

AF: I spend the majority of my work time meeting with my team (via Zoom recently) to discuss strategies and updates on the various areas of the business. I also talk to landlords and other business partners like our accountants, lawyers and other fitness owners. Outside of work I like to hang with my kids, workout (walk/jogs, paddle boarding, tennis and swim) and go on beach walks.

Interested in going to an SLT Outdoors class? Classes are capped at 8 people, so make sure you sign up today on the SLT website!

East Hampton Indoor Tennis at 174 Daniels Hole Road in East Hampton. For more information, visit sltnyc.com.

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